Hey there, no I haven’t been kidnapped. I’ve just been through a long spring/summer/winter/spring/summer sleep: a gestation period of sorts. The road was long and dark at times but these days have been full of light and love. The journey took me down old hallowed halls of worn out old issues in an effort to help me get to the present place of rebirth.
So all this brings me to our chat for today. Yes we all know by now that Bad Sh*t Happens. As they say Whah, Whah, Whah. 2020 had us deep in the dirty doo doo; like real deep. Many people have been focused on the ways in which the dirt continues on and on and on.
But what hasn’t been so easily focused on is how much Good Sh*t is happening too. I was on one of my daily walks earlier this year and this song by Michael Franti came on The Spotify playlist and from the first line it just clicked…
I love my crazy days but it may not seem that way today.
That day was like any of those days, a total see saw of emotions. That day, I was on a walk but my head was not attached to my body. That line woke me up.
He goes on to sing…
The sun is shining down on me. Sometimes you have to slow down to see, all that life has given me.
The best part of my day is the fact that I woke up today.
And there it was, slapping me right upside my head. The medicine that I was administering but not always taking.
Tears came to my eyes as listened, dancing through my walk around Fresh Pond in Cambridge, MA.
As we chat today, I am reflecting back on those days earlier this year and they feel like light years ago. About four months ago, I had a situation that stopped me in my tracks and helped me to see things about myself that I hadn’t seen before. It also helped me to confront my own unhappiness that I was blaming on the pandemic, the state of affairs in the area I live in, other people, places and things. Basically I was verbal diarrhea all the time about all the things that I didn’t like. This situation was the proverbial brakes coming to a screeching halt. I faced a truth I talk to my clients about all the time
Happiness is a choice. It requires awakening and action.
That is precisely the message that Michael Franti is serving up in this very fun but poignant song. These days more than ever, it takes effort to pull ourselves up out of the dregs of the bad shit so to speak. It is everywhere. The anger, resentment, self righteousness, and fear are all around us all the time. All you have to do is turn on the TV and you can be sure a fear based narrative will be served up on a platter hoping you are hungry for more.
The thing is, there are good things happening, like children playing, people helping each other out and smiles from a stranger. We just have a harder time noticing them because our brain is actually wired to pick up the negative far more easily than the positive. This process is called the negativity bias and something that Rick Hanson speaks about in his book Buddha’s Brain.
About four months ago when the shit hit the fan so to speak, I called it quits. I called a moratorium on being surrounded by that of which felt heavy, negative, fear based and all around not the reality that I wanted to live within. Like anytime when you decide you have had enough, the process moved like rapid fire. The minute I shed that of which I no longer could tolerate being a part of, I found that there was a whole new reality just waiting for me to awaken to it.
I began to reach out to people I hadn’t seen in a long time to say hello and join them on their journey of happiness. I went to an herbal fair, reconnected with one of my former herbal teachers and immediately joined her the next week in her aromatherapy certification. I also ticked off a bucket list item of taking horse back riding lessons and connected with the most amazing trainer and gentle Connemara pony. The list goes on and on. With each new activity I engaged in, I met new people and my world began to expand. Suddenly that of which was weighing me down, just wasn’t that big of an issue anymore. I began spending time in other communities where these new friends lived and engaged in activities with them.
All this to say is that the Good Sh*t began to happen when I decided to wake up to the fact that it was there all the time. It was just my perception that was off. I was looking down a dark long tunnel only seeing that of which was immediately surrounding me. The minute I put on my internal glasses with wider lens, I realized that there was so much going on just “over yonder” so to speak. All I needed to do was be open to choosing my own happiness and maybe driving a ways to do it.
This internal and external transformation, let me to begin to see Good Sh*t all around me; even in the most mundane things. And that Good Sh*t began to make me more and more grateful. After a while, it shifted the type of work I was attracted to engage in with my clients. Currently, my business is going through it’’s own “re-brand” moving away from focusing on stress management and towards helping people live with intention and purpose. The more intentional I am about how I live my life, the happier I have become.
If Covid has had any silver lining it is this…life is short and life is meant to be lived. For me that means I embrace each day, the glory of it and I go out into the world and find my own happiness beyond all borders and limitations of the mind. I don’t let anything or anyone get in the way of embracing the beauty in each day and making decisions based on what feels right for me in that moment.
So as we end our chat let’s return to Michael Frante’s flow and jam…
“Let the good time flow, let them into your soul, all that really matters is the love that show.”
“Let the good times flow, let them into your soul. Life goes quickly so take it slow, take it slow, take it slow. Life goes quickly so take it slow.”
Cheers to living our best life each day and embracing the Good Sh*t!